If you haven't visited an IKEA furniture store yet, then you are in for a treat. With more than 250 stores in 24 countries and annual sales in the billions, this iconic brand has developed a well-deserved following.
The concept behind IKEA is simple and straightforward--well-designed, functional home furnishings offered at the lowest price possible. In order to keep prices low, most IKEA furnishings need to be assembled and are usually crafted from composites, plastics and other less-expensive materials.
The company stocks hundreds of different home furnishing models that run through the full spectrum of interior and exterior furnishings.
- Cooking & Eating
- Decoration & Mirrors
- Living Room
- Secondary Storage
- Small Storage
IKEA has stores across the country, primarily located in major cities. If there's not a store near you, you can still benefit from excellent IKEA deals by doing your shopping online.
When shopping in-store, you'll want to prepare yourself for the experience. The store functions as a giant maze, guiding you through showrooms that showcase their furniture and home goods, followed by sales floors where you can add the showcased items to your cart. Making your way through the store takes time, and you should plan on setting aside a few hours for the experience the first time through. If you're worried that you'll wear yourself out before you make it through the maze, plan on taking a break and eating lunch at the IKEA in-store restaurant. These restaurants and cafes feature inexpensive meals with a Swedish flair.
If you're shopping online, the sheer number of products available for purchase can seem a little overwhelming. Online shopping works best if you know exactly what it is you want to shop for. If you just want to browse IKEA's selection, consider starting your search by checking out their new products or their special offers. It can also be helpful to view the All Products category that provides you with simple links to follow for specific types of goods. This helps prevent you from getting distracted by the volume of products available.
Keep in mind that you can also sign up to receive the IKEA catalog. This can be especially helpful if you don't have access to a store, and you struggle to envision products listed on a website in a real environment. The IKEA catalog will provide you with "real life" pictures of products in home-like environments along with product specs and buying information.
A Socially Responsible Company
IKEA furniture store takes a lot of pride in their socially and environmentally responsible practices. Wherever possible they use materials and products that are healthy for their customers and for the earth. They are also working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, ensure that their products are manufactured under acceptable working conditions, and also strive to prevent child labor.
Some of IKEA's projects include:
- One dollar is a fortune
- For a certain number of weeks each year, the company donates one dollar for every teddy bear or soft toy sold
- Millions of dollars are donated to projects run by UNICEF and Save the Children
- Climate change
- IKEA aims to supply all of its buildings with renewable energy (sources other than fossil fuel)
- The company is also working to improve its overall energy efficiency by 25 percent compared with 2005
- They have installed energy-saving light bulbs, keep lights on only when the warehouses are open, and have also installed extra insulation to save energy on heating and cooling
- Ultimately they hope to use wind, water, solar, biofuel and geothermal power to provide energy for all IKEA buildings
- Working conditions
- IKEA does not accept child labor at any of their suppliers or sub-contractors
- They are working to prevent child labor by developing solutions that address the root cause of the problem, such as poverty, lack of education, etc.
- IKEA works with Sow a Seed to help restore 18,500 hectares of rainforest in Malaysian Borneo, which has been damaged by logging and a massive fire in 1983
- They also work with the World Wildlife Fund to develop better cotton farming practices in India and Pakistan
While IKEA is best known for its great deals on furniture and home goods, you can also receive a number of services from IKEA. They can help you with your kitchen or office remodel and assist with installation, and they will also provide you with home furniture advice. Even if the modern Swedish furniture isn't your favorite style, chances are you'll find something to love when you shop at IKEA.